New Delhi: India's acrimonious tour of Australia is the latest episode in a continuing face-off between cricket's strongest team on the field and the most powerful off it.
The rivalry has provided fascinating and gripping cricket, but is also littered with controversy and bickering over umpiring, foul language, misbehaviour, mistrust and walkouts.
Sunny starts it Durrani ends it at MCG, 1981: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who heads the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) rule-making cricket committee, sparked the confrontation when he almost forfeited a Test match in Melbourne in 1981.
The opening batsman, angry at being given out leg-before by an Australian umpire off Dennis Lillee, ordered his batting partner Chetan Chauhan off the field as fans and commentators looked on aghast.
Only a timely intervention by the team manager, air force official Shahid Durrani, who rushed down the steps and ordered Chauhan - the current Indian team manager - to return to the middle, prevented a forfeit.
Verbal volleys mar hard fought Test, 1986 Chennai: India and Australia were involved in only the second tied Test in history in Madras in 1986, but a great match was marred by dubious umpiring and verbal duels. It was Indian umpire Vikram Raju who gave a contentious LBW decision against last man Maninder Singh that helped Aussies to tie a match that was almost out of their hands.
Allan Border's tourists returned to India the following year to win their first-ever World Cup but it was not until nine years later, in 1996, that Australia played a Test in India again.
Indian fans were miffed when Australian cricketers blamed their defeat in the one-off Test at New Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla ground in 1996 on the heavy pollution in the Indian capital.
Steve 'Tugga' Waugh plays it tough, 2001 Kolkata: India's brilliant come-from-behind victory in the home series in 2001 was marred by Australian captain Steve Waugh accusing his Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly of 'disrespect' for making him wait at the toss during the series.
India, who had lost the first Test in Mumbai early on the fourth day and were made to follow on 274 runs behind in the second at Kolkata, conjured a remarkable fightback in what is widely regarded as one of the best three-Test series ever played.
India not only won the Kolkata Test on the back of Venkatsai Laxman's magnificent 281 -- ending Australia's 16-match winning streak - but also squeaked out a narrow win in the final Test in Chennai to win 2-1.
Spinner Harbhajan Singh, at the centre of the racism row on the current tour, ripped Australia apart with 32 wickets in the series, prompting Waugh to declare India as the "final frontier" for his champion side.
Ganguly's men almost pulled off an incredible win in Waugh's last series in Australia in 2003, when they won the second Test in Adelaide, lost the third in Melbourne and fell four wickets short of taking the final match in Sydney.
Punter blames it on 'dust bowl', 2004 Delhi: Ricky Ponting's men conquered Waugh's final frontier in 2004-05, but returned home angry when they were beaten in two days in the final Test in Mumbai on a dusty spinners' wicket. Australia won the first and third Test at Bangalore and Nagpur respectively while the second Test petered to a tame draw of the four-Test series.
Sree, monkey chants and more, 2007: Monkey chants greeted Australian batsman Andrew Symonds during the one-day series in India last year, prompting the tourists to accuse local crowds of racist comments against the star all-rounder.
Temperamental Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who had heated exchanges with Australian batsmen during the series, was defended by team-mates as only trying to "meet fire with fire."
Kangroos metamorphose into Dingo!: The current tour was marred by umpiring blunders, courtesy Bucknor-Benson. Aussies trumpling upon the spirits of the game by not walking despite huge nicks and misleading umpires so on so forth.
The ensuing tour was salvaged after the ICC removed controversial umpire Steve Bucknor from standing in the third Test in Perth from Jan 16, a demand the Indians had made.
The ICC also decided to appoint a code of conduct commissioner to adjudicate on India's appeal against match referee Mike Procter's decision to ban Harbhajan for alleged racist remarks against Symonds during the Sydney Test.
The ICC said Harbhajan will be allowed to play the final two Tests in Perth and Adelaide until the commissioner, who has yet to be named, had completed his inquiry.
Cricket-mad India accounts for an estimated 70 per cent of the game's revenues while Australia have been the dominant force in the game for more than a decade.
ThatsCricket (with inputs from AFP)